‘Feedback’, does this term bring lots of questions and doubts in your mind? And i wont be surprised if most of the questions and doubts are negative!!

The top business leaders and researchers have agreed to the fact that feedback skills is one of the most significant aspects to enhancing performance while maintaining staff retention. It is not just a science but an art to give feedback effectively because you have to give feedback to different people in different ways depending on the situation.

Some people are submissive, some aggressive, some passive and only a few people are assertive. There are situations when you need to give work related feedback and sometimes you have to give behavior related feedback.

Let’s learn some best practices that can help us improve our feedback skills with any person in any situation:

  1. Remember the purpose of giving feedback is helping people improve. Many times when we give feedback we use it as a way of expressing anger or irritation rather than using it to help people improve. So ask yourself if your feedback content & style will help the other person to improve?
  2. Ask if it is the right time to give feedback. Many times people are not in the right state of mind to receieve feedback thus it is best to check with people when is the best time to discuss feedback. This shows a lot of respect to the person which helps them to receive the feedback positively.
  3. Communicate your fears and Clarify your Intentions. I am sure you have some fear of being misunderstood or fear of they feeling bad which you are worried about. The best way to address these fears is to communicate them openly and clarify your intentions are to help the other person improve.
  4. Give Specific Feedback instead of generalizing. It is best to say that “you were late twice in this week by 30 mins” instead of saying “you are coming quite late nowadays” Generalized feedback can be perceived as offensive and thus it may not serve the purpose of giving feedback.
  5. Ask for the solution instead of directly giving advice. Free advice is usually not valued by people so best is to ask people for the solution so you get the advice from within them. If you don’t get the solution you want from them, then ask if you can provide a solution and then offer your advice, they will value it now because they realize that they don’t know the best solution.
  6. Ask for a Follow Up time to check improvement. If you don’t follow up after feedback then the chances of improvement are almost nil so make sure you ask and discuss on a follow up time.
  7. Close the Feedback with Gratitude. Most people give feedback and expect people to just take it like a command which does not work in this age where everybody wants to be treated with equality. Make sure you close the feedback by expressing your gratitude and thanking the person for taking the feedback positively. This helps in creating a positive ground even for future feedback situations.

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